Wipro’s idea of a sustainable and responsible business is broadly pivoted on the idea of the triple bottom-line and multiple capitals. What these essentially mean is that the elements of economic, social and environmental impacts and value creation are inter-connected, and the goal of business is situated within this larger purpose. This manifests primarily in the way we think and run our business globally. This is also reflected in our efforts to engage and partner with key stakeholders within and beyond the direct business value chain. We believe that our effort towards creating mutual, lasting value for all stakeholders is integral to our long-term success.
Our core approach towards sustainability is informed by the understanding that an organization operates in a larger socio-economic context. Every company, must therefore in its strategic intent, seek to create not just economic but social value as well – for e.g., deliver useful products and services, drive ethical sourcing, generate jobs, provide employees an empowering environment, and such. In the operational process of doing so, negative externalities or impacts are created – for e.g., greenhouse gas emissions, work related stress and injury, increased vehicular traffic due to rapid industrialization and urbanization. As a good corporate citizen, we should assess, reduce, and mitigate these.
Every year, we undertake a rigorous evaluation of key externalities and priorities that are important for our sector, our organization, and stakeholders. We do this through a structured process of benchmarking, surveys, peer reviews and other engagement platforms. This process feeds into our sustainability programs and initiatives. For instance, at Wipro, we focus on capability building for our workforce to stay updated and agile in a rapidly changing business environment. Given that our operational centres are primarily in urban areas, we work to address current and emerging issues such as water stress and mobility. This report presents a comprehensive update of our focus areas, goals and performance. In this section, we present a summary of the same.
Our core business: We are a global IT Service organization and our core focus is to help businesses become more operationally efficient and effective through the effective usage of IT infrastructure, applications and services. The latter is what we create, design, develop and run for our customers.
How we create economic value: We operate in over 65 countries with 602 clients across various industry sectors. Our revenues for FY 17 were INR ~ 554,179 Million, while our operating profits were INR 93879 Million. We paid total taxes of INR 25366 Million across the countries we operate in. Out total net-worth as of March 2017 was INR 522,695 Million. Our overall shareholding pattern has remained consistent, with 73.25% of total shares held by the promoters, and the rest by a mix of banks, financial institutions, private companies, members of the public, and others. A key feature of our investor profile is that over 30% of our investors are aligned with the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), who incorporate sustainability criteria in their investment decisions. The continued support of such large, institutional investors is encouraging to us in our sustainability journey. Another significant fact is ~40% of the company’s shares have been irrevocably transferred to a Trust, to fund activities of the Azim Premji Foundation and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives. Thus, there is a very tangible linkage between the economic value created by Wipro and the enormous social value created by these two organizations in India’s developmental space
We provide the full range of IT and IT enabled services to our clients, including hardware and software design, R&D, digital advisory service, system integration, global infrastructure services, business process services, analytics, and more. Our business is organized into six strategic business units by customer/industry segments, and six service lines by technology offerings and expertise. We invest significantly in intellectual capital through focused efforts in R&D, including academic partnerships. As of March 2017, we had applied and held 1,662 patents, with another 603 patents filed for. We cultivate new and emerging technologies through select in-house investment, as well as investing in cutting edge technology start-ups. Our approach is to build technology capability across the talent eco-system, with a focus on areas such as Big Data, AI, Open Source, Digital and Internet of Things, to name a few.
Our Business strategy and Risk Management: Our business strategy comprises a clear bimodal theme of transformation and efficiency: to help our clients Drive the Future (Change Strategy) of their businesses and to Modernize the Core of our clients’ businesses (Run Strategy). This integrated theme also drives a culture of connectedness, creativity, resourcefulness, and a strong outward focus – these are also key features of our newly articulated Brand. Identification and mitigation of major risks is an essential component of how we craft out strategy and translate it into operations. In doing so, we are also informed by global sustainability trends that would impact the emerging business and socio-economic landscape. As per the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Risk Report, the top three trends in the world “Rising Income and Wealth Disparity’, ‘Changing Climate’ and ‘Increased Polarization of Societies’ are all interconnected with the net effect of reduced economic and social stability. At Wipro, we have made a careful assessment of risk and opportunities arising from climate change, and the business implications of the same. The significant risks we see are from the possibility of increased disruptions to operational continuity on account of a clearly higher frequency of extreme weather events, especially in our coastal cities in India. Infrastructure damage, employee absence and productivity loss are all likely collateral impacts of such climate change induced events. Our mitigation strategy comprises a business continuity plan that involves shifting people and operations to our other inland centers and well-planned infrastructure insurance cover.
What we do with customers:
Our approach to contributing to clients’ success extends beyond delivering commercially feasible solutions. In a world where technology is a key driver for success in any business, businesses can empower themselves to connect with customers more widely and closely. Our approach towards customers is to engage with them continuously to understand their context, needs and risks – this helps us provide solutions that generate maximum value. For instance, we are creating an integrated health ecosystem that is designed to be patient-centric. We look for opportunities to design and provide sustainable solutions to customers – for e.g. our Energy and Utilities vertical has cultivated solutions around the areas of renewables and smart grids.
New technology solutions such as Virtualization also reduces dependence on physical servers, and leads to energy savings. While we look to create the most customer-centric solution, we also recognize the related risks arising out of pervasive technology. We have a structured risk identification and mitigation program in place, to address areas such as cyber security, data privacy and business continuity.
Our approach to people and workplace sustainability: In a knowledge and solution driven business like ours, a high-caliber, agile and engaged workforce is pivotal to success. Value for customers is created primarily by our talented employees, who design, develop and implement solutions for clients. Simply put, at Wipro, it is our human capital that creates intellectual, social and financial capital. Our global and diverse workforce is 160,000+ strong, spread across over 50 countries. Aligned with our organizational values and the promise of our brand, we place strong emphasis on respecting dignity, diversity and being sensitive to human rights and designing our policies and processes to promote self-service, transparency and responsible conduct at the workplace.
The primary themes of our human capital strategy are transformation, career growth and capability. Our workplaces are therefore not meant to be ordinary offices, but rather empowering, safe, spaces that energize performance, foster learning and growth, and promote an inclusive culture. We view employees as key stakeholders, and have numerous engagement platforms and initiatives to drive continuous communication, seek feedback and encourage advocacy. A comprehensive health & safety framework creates an essential foundation for engagement and performance – our wellness and safety programs, insurance policies and year-round advocacy on healthy practices promotes a proactive and preventive mindset towards getting and staying healthy. Our capability and career building programs seek to bolster performance and tap employee potential. Our approach is to create ample opportunities for employees to excel, learn, and be prepared to meet (or create) the next wave of transformation. Our approach towards people development extends beyond business transformation, to social change as well. We have over 9000 employees who are voluntarily engaged as volunteers, on multiple community and environmental initiatives.
Our compensation, benefits, and rewards program are informed and continuously improved by global best practices as well as regional context and regulations. We have adopted an integrated approach, in balancing fixed and performance-based pay, with due emphasis on social and financial security, and flexible compensation packages. Our pay decisions are based on market trends, individual performance and capability, and principles of equity and fairness.
Promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion is an essential driver of business success for us. As our multi-dimensional Diversity & Inclusion program enters its 10th year, we continue to drive initiatives around the themes of gender, nationality, persons with disability, and persons from underprivileged communities. We extend our efforts in promoting diversity to our partner employee community and supplier networks as well.
What we do with our supply chain: Wipro considers its suppliers as vital to its business continuity and performance. In order to build and maintain a sustainable supply chain, we partner with suppliers to promote ethical and responsible sourcing, of green products & services. We also assess supply chain risks, and work with suppliers to mitigate and eradicate them. We have a robust people supply chain, comprising contract employees engaged in IT Services and Solutions delivery, Security, and essential functional services such as Maintenance and Housekeeping. Our products and services supply chain is centered around green procurement practices such as green certified products for IT hardware, responsible handling of electronic end-of-life, and sustainable construction sourcing e.g. energy efficient air conditioning. We engage with suppliers and contractors to strengthen labour and human rights compliance and fair working conditions.
Our environmental externalities and how we manage them:
We view precious environmental resources as natural capital, and recognize the need to use and conserve them responsibly. Our ecological sustainability program comprises multiple themes, identified through a rigorous assessment of the environmental impacts of our business and supply chain. In 2016-17, we also participated in a best-in-class Natural Capital Valuation exercise, to gauge impacts created by our operations and our upstream suppliers on a comprehensive set of factors. The results of the assessment have been incorporated back into our sustainability agenda, goals and actions. The key themes of our ecological sustainability program are Energy, Water, Waste Management, Campus Biodiversity and Urban Resilience.
Our lifecycle approach to energy efficiency starts with green building design and includes rigorous execution, the use of the right energy efficient technologies, Renewable energy sourcing and behavioral change. To this end, we have set clear targets for reduction in carbon intensity and emissions, with line of sight till 2050. Our rigorous focus on improving freshwater water efficiency has resulted in a total savings of around 800 million liters of water over the last five years. In addition, 38% of our total water requirements is met through recycling. Our efforts in water seek to transcend organizational boundaries and in 2014, we initiated the “Participative Community Water Project” in the Sarjapur area in Bangalore which seeks to involve proximate communities in a unique citizen-led governance model of groundwater. All our campuses in India segregate, track and manage more than 30 + sub categories of waste. 92% of the total waste from our India operations is recycled through both, in-house recycling units and through authorized vendor tie-ups. As we complete 5 years of our Campus Biodiversity program, we continue in our efforts to convert / design our campuses on biodiversity principles. We believe that this makes for a more integrated work setting, and builds a deeper sense of connectedness with our surroundings. The total valuation of our environmental footprint is INR 11,476 million , of which 67 % is from our supply chain. The value of our environmental externalities works out to 2 % of our revenues and 7% of our profits.
Outside the boundary:
Our principles of ‘good citizenship’ and responsibility extend beyond the boundaries of our core business, to communities and societal issues outside. We believe in the power of reciprocity, and that partnering with communities creates mutual value, in terms of stronger relationships, talent building and goodwill. Community and civil society networks are thus a key stakeholder group for our business. Our approach in this regard is two-pronged: to mitigate/minimize any negative impacts of our operations on proximate communities, and to proactively try and make a positive difference to communities. We work closely with communities on education, ecology and specific community issues. The common thread that runs through all our social initiatives is derived from the values of Spirit of Wipro: ‘Treat each person with respect, Be global and responsible, Unyielding Integrity in everything we do’ are universal tenets that underlie our approach to social change and community engagement.
Our initiatives are contextualized to address relevant needs of the local communities. In India, for instance, the challenges and complexities of school education are widely known. The WATIS (Wipro Applying Thought in Schools) program partners with civil society to bring about sustained, long-term improvement in school education. The Wipro Earthian program also engages with schools and colleges, albeit on a different level – to build sustainability awareness, thinking and action in our youth. The Wipro Cares community care program engages with communities in various parts of India, and supports initiatives on primary healthcare, education for the underprivileged, children with disability, and rehabilitation in disaster-hit areas. Several of these initiatives are in areas that are beyond our operational locations; we support them as they have significant, intrinsic value, and contribute to long-term social well-being.
In the U.S.A., efforts to further STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education have been of vital interest. Through the Wipro Science Fellowship Program, we partner with academic institutions across multiple cities to foster excellence in science education and teaching.
In South Africa, our Wipro Siyapha program contributes to the implementation of the country’s Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, through its efforts on education, skill development and employment generation.
Governance and Management:
All our programs and actions are based on a strong foundation of ethics and values, manifested in the Spirit of Wipro. Our brand identity reflects the Spirit of Wipro values, and conveys the promise of being passionate about client success, treating every human being with respect, being global in our thinking and actions, and demonstrating unyielding integrity in everything we do. Our values and principles of ethical conduct are embedded in all our policies, processes and procedures, through our overarching Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. A parallel framework for suppliers is also in place. Stakeholders are encouraged to highlight and report any wrong-doing or violation of our values and ethics via the Ombudsprocess, without fear of reprisal. The reporting process is open to all, and anyone can report a concern to the ombudsperson. We have a relatively large number of cases reported, which is a reflection of stakeholder empowerment, transparency, and trust placed in the Ombudsprocess. Our approach to corporate governance extends well beyond statutory compliance with a four-tiered governance structure, with clear roles and responsibilities to advocate, implement, review and guide ethical conduct. While our sustainability strategy, action and evangelism is carried out across levels, geographies and functions, the primary oversight of all programs is at the corporate level, with our Chairman, Board of Governors and Group Executive Council.
We consider voluntary disclosures such as this sustainability report as being integral to our standards of good governance. Comprehensive and well-articulated sustainability disclosures reflect the attributes of transparency and accountability that are central tenets of our sustainability philosophy, and demonstrate the external focus our brand stands for. We have been active participants in several disclosures and indices, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the Carbon Disclosure Index, World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere, and Vigeo Sustainability Rating. Our disclosures aligned with the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and NVGs (National Voluntary Guidelines) are available in the public domain. We believe that a culture of disclosure and transparency strengthens and complements regulatory compliance. It also helps us to reach out to all our stakeholders. Stakeholder inclusiveness is a key principle of our sustainability approach, and stakeholder input and feedback help create a more balanced perspective while shaping goals and planning our actions.